|Pelletier's Home Inspection
Alfred Leo Pelletier, CMI, HI 36, RI 23124
Pelletier & Son / General Contractor
Remodeling Contractor RI Reg 23124 & Home Inspector State of Rhode Island
Providence 02901, West Warwick 02893, Coventry 02816, Rhode Island
State of Florida Licensed Home Inspector HI 36
Comprehensive, Four-Point, Pre-Listing Home Inspections
401-301-3655 *Rhode Island
SSN 681 BATFISH
Nuclear Fast Attack Submarine
Change the Course of History
The USS Batfish, (SSN-681 submarine, nuclear-powered) was a member of the Sturgeon class of nuclear fast attack submarines. It was the second U.S. Navy vessel,
and second submarine, to be named after the fish. The first USS Batfish (SSN-310) served with distinction in World War II.
On June 25, 1968, the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp.’s Groton (Conn.) Shipyard received the contract to build the Batfish. Her keel was laid on
Feb. 9, 1970; she was launched 20 months later, on Oct. 9, 1971. She joined the ranks of the Atlantic Fleet with her commissioning on Sept. 1, 1972, with
Commander Richard E. Enkeboll in command of the Batfish’s original crew.
The Batfish made headlines for the wrong reasons early in her career. On Jan. 22, 1973, while leaving her homeport of Charleston, S.C., the Batfish ran aground and
suffered damage to its bottom. After being freed by tugs, the Batfish returned to port for extensive repairs.
For the better part of three decades, the Batfish tracked the activities of Soviet (and later Russian) submarines in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and the
Mediterranean Sea. Though most of her work was done without fanfare, one 1978 patrol known as “Operation Evening Star” has become legend in the submarine
community. On March 17, 1978, the Batfish was operating 200 miles above the Arctic Circle when it detected a Yankee I – class Soviet ballistic missile submarine
operating nearby. The Batfish began trailing the Soviet submarine, losing it for only twice for brief periods of time over the next 50 days. In the process, the Batfish
collected troves of information on Soviet submarine operating methods.
The Yankee never knew it had been detected; indeed, the Soviets had no idea the incident had occurred until the 1980s, when Navy Petty Officer John Walker sold
them information detailing it.
Based in Charleston for virtually her entire career, the Batfish was decommissioned on March 17, 1999 and was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register the same
day. The Batfish entered the Navy’s Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program at Bermerton, Wash., and on Nov. 22, 2002, was declared scrapped.
Characteristics of the USS Batfish:
Displacement: 4195 tons light, 4501 tons full, 306 tons dead
Length: 89 m (292 ft)
Beam: 9.7 m (32 ft)
Draft: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Propulsion: Westinghouse S5W reactor, S3G3 Modified Core
Complement: 14 officers, 98 men
Armament: four 21-inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes
Ordered: June 25, 1968
Laid down: Feb. 9, 1970
Launched: Oct. 9, 1971
Commissioned: Sept. 1, 1972
Decommissioned: March 17, 1999
Stricken: March, 17 1999
Fate: submarine recycling
June 1968: USS Batfish ordered
February 1970: Keel of USS Batfish laid
October 1971: USS Batfish launched
September 1972: USS Batfish commissioned
January 1973: USS Batfish runs aground off of Charleston, S.C.
March-May 1977: USS Batfish trails Soviet Yankee I-class submarine for 50 days without detection
March 1999: USS Batfish decommissioned
November 2002: USS Batfish scrapped
Alfred Leo Pelletier / Pipefitter / 54618 Dept 243
Targeted all major components. Fabricated piping detail assemblies. Installed piping assemblies to all major components that are very crucial to the operating
of the engine room of the SSN 681 BATFISH Nuclear Attack Submarine.
Sturgeon Class Attack Submarine: Laid down, 9 February 1970, at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corp., Groton, CT.; Launched, 9 October
1971; Commissioned, USS Batfish (SSN-681), 5 May 1972; Decommissioned 2 November 1998; Struck from the Naval Register, 17 March 1999; Final
Disposition, laid up at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard awaiting disposal through the NPSSRP (Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program) at
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA.
Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced: 3,640 t., Submerged: 4,640 t.; Length 302'; Beam 31' 8"; Draft 28' 8"; Speed, Surfaced 15 kts, Submerged 25 kts;
Depth limit 1,300'; Complement 108; Armament, four 21" torpedo tubes amidships aft of bow, MK 48 Torpedoes, UUM-44A SUBROC, UGM-84A/C
Harpoon, MK 57 deep water mines, MK 60 CAPTOR mines; Combat Sensors, Radar, BPS-14/15 surface search, Sonars, BQQ-5 multi-function bow
mounted, BQR-7 passive in submarines with BQQ-2, BQS-12 active 7, TB-16 or TB-23 towed array, EW Systems, WLQ-4(V), WLR-4(V), WLR-9 ;
Propulsion System, one S5W nuclear reactor, two steam turbines, one propeller, 15,000 shp.
Run Silent, Run Deep
In the Cold War's undersea cat and mouse game, the prize went to the submarine that could
By Thomas B. Allen, Smithsonian magazine, March 2001
The sonar room supervisor of the nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Batfish (SSN 681) picked up his microphone and punched the intercom button
for the officer of the deck a few feet away in the control room. "CONN, SONAR. SONAR CONTACT BEARING ZERO-SIX-TWO. CLASSIFIED
POSSIBLE SOVIET SUBMARINE!" The sonar listeners had just picked up the distinctive sounds of a Soviet "Yankee" class ballistic missile submarine on a
course toward the East Coast of the United States. The date of this undersea interception was March 17, 1978. The place: about 200 miles above the Arctic
Circle in the Norwegian Sea.
Concern over Soviet missile submarine patrols in areas that allowed them to target the eastern half of the United States had led to the Navy order that sent
Batfish to sea under the command of Comdr. Thomas W. Evans (now a retired rear admiral). She would seek to intercept a Soviet missile submarine, follow
her, and observe her operations throughout an entire patrol without being detected.
The 120-odd men who served in an attack submarine such as Batfish lived and worked in incredibly cramped conditions in a steel tube about 300 feet long
and 32 feet in beam. Though by no means small, these boats were dwarfed by the giant "boomers," or missile boats, of both the American and Soviet navies.
Batfish and her sister submarines were quieter than their Soviet quarry. "Our task was to establish a trailing position well behind the Yankee from which we
could maintain tactical control," says Batfish skipper Evans. "Maintaining tactical control means you're in that zone where you're close enough to hear the
noises emitted by their machinery and propeller through all the other noises in the sea, but not too far away where you can hear him and he can't hear you."
Batfish stayed with the Yankee for 50 days throughout the Soviet submarine's patrol following her through storms, fishing fleets, the cacophony of oil
exploration explosions, traveling 10,369 shadowing miles to record the Yankee's 8,871 miles. As far as is known, she was never detected by the Soviet boat.
Batfish surfaced off her home port of Charleston, South Carolina, on May 17 after 77 days submerged.
The Soviets did ultimately learn of our trailing missions through the treachery of American spies in our own navy. However, Rear Adm. Sumner Shapiro, the
director of Naval Intelligence in 1978, now retired, believes that such knowledge of our ability to track their submarines anywhere in the world's oceans made
the Soviets realize that their ballistic missile submarine force, which they counted on for reliable second-strike capability, was not invulnerable. This
realization could have been a major factor in bringing the Cold War to an end. If so, then the U.S. submariners of Batfish and other boats of the Navy's Silent
Service made history. Now at least part of their story can be told.
USS Batfish SSN 681 Nuclear Attack Submarine
Good afternoon Mr. Pelletier, January 24, 2012
I wanted to let you know about an event taking place in Norfolk, 24 May 2012.
The local USSVI SubVets and WWII SubVets hold a memorial here in Norfolk on Memorial Day every year and one of the events that was added to the
ceremony a number of years ago is the induction of a post-WWII submarine into the 'Hall of Fame." Previous boats include NAUTILUS, SKATE, TRITON and
USS BATFISH (SSN 681) was selected based on its 1978 mission which was declassified for the submarine centennial.
The mission, Operation Evening Star, involved tracking a Soviet ballistic missile submarine, undetected, for 55 days.
We'd like to get the word out to any BATFISH crew who might be interested in attending the ceremony at the Submarine Learning Facility on Norfolk Naval
Station, 24 May and would appreciate it if you could post something on your Web site.
If you do plan on attending, please let me know and I'll ensure you have access to the base for the ceremony.
USS SKATE (SSN 578)/USS TUSK (SS 426)
NETWARCOM Public Affairs Officer
Desk (757) 417-6706 (DSN 537)
Fax (757) 492-8702
|Alfred Leo Pelletier
Pipefitter Foreman-Supervisor / Instructor
Pipefitter 1st/class 54618 / Dept 243
General Dynamics Electric Boat Division